Lent status: Available
My beloved brothers and sisters, listeners, it is my great privilege once again to be in your midst. I have already prayed before this message that the Father will clothe this message in the power of the Holy Spirit that when you listen to it you will be granted understanding of what I am trying to say to you.
I want you to take your Bibles and open to 1 John 3:1-10;
(I am reading from the KJV, which says):
1 BEHOLD, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
What a tremendous portion of Scripture I want to talk with you today.
Verse 1 is repeated several times in this portion, where it says:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God”.
I want to speak today on the subject of: “The sons of God”.
Beloved, one of the main points in which great deception and great misguidance has taken place is when, many centuries ago, the
spiritualizing of Scripture had entered into the preaching of God’s Word. And through that there were many erroneous concepts concerning the Word of God, which led thousands and maybe even millions astray. We must not spiritualize God’s Word where we can read it literally. Only in rare exceptions and that will be pointed out by the context.
Where we will be able to see that is meant in a spiritual sense. So for instance, this spiritualizing of Israel is one of the greatest errors that have ever been made. To spiritualize Israel out of Scripture, where God made a covenant, an everlasting covenant, an irrevocable covenant, an unconditional covenant, and an unalterable covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their seed - that is their offspring, which are their literal descendants.
God made this covenant to be everlasting and it still stands today and will stand forever for this reason Jesus died and rose again for the transgressions of his people. Christ was crucified and the curse was upon Him - so that is one of the bigger errors that could ever have been made.
The second great error is that of the Kingdom of God being in our hearts and that it is a spiritual matter. Yes, my brothers and sisters, certainly it is a spiritual matter in this respect, in this regard that except we are born again we cannot see the Kingdom of God. Certainly, God is a Spirit and secondly, the change must take place in our hearts, but this promise was made unto a specific people, namely, to Israel. Through God’s Word we see that God has made an unconditional promise that God would redeem Israel, that this people whom He found for Himself, and chose not for Himself nations and people of the world. That He is going to bring them back into the true relationship of sons and daughters to Himself.
For instance, let me give you an example of what terrible error has been made:
See Luke 17:20-21;
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (AV).
My brothers and sisters, the Kingdom of God is within you, so the general teaching is - that the Kingdom of God is in our hearts and one-day in heaven, it’s all a spiritual matter. But that is not what Jesus said.
If you take the original Greek word for “within you”, it translates - the Greek word is “entos” (Strong’s 1787) and it means, “in the midst of you”.
Now just picture for you - we must always read our Bibles with our imaginations. You must imagine that scene; here Jesus stood, He and his disciples in the midst, and surrounded by the Scribes and Pharisees. They were always on the prowl, always on the lookout where they could catch Jesus out on a word or a deed, whereby they might put him to death. They remind me of a lot of vultures always hovering around just to where the kill has been made so that they can come and scavenge the carcass.
Oh, my brothers and sisters, because they had hate and they had murder and they had deceit in their hearts. Now would Jesus say to such people “the Kingdom of God is within you?” What a tremendous error, what tremendous misguidance, what a tremendous lie has been told by these spiritualizes throughout the ages. And they have deceived and misled millions of God’s people to believe the completely wrong things.
No! What Jesus said here: “Don’t look for the Kingdom of God outside somewhere, here the Kingdom of God is in your midst. Here am I the King, the King of Israel, the Messiah, here I am standing in the midst of you and here are my disciples, my followers, those I promised would sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel - (Matt 19:28). We are the nucleus of the Kingdom.
Here is the government of Israel in your midst, here are the representatives of Israel, and you are looking for an outward appearance - an outward show - my brothers and sisters, and you can extend this situation to many, many other situations and many other interpretations.
The devil is always getting us to look for something elsewhere, when it is right here before our very eyes. So the Kingdom of God was there, what a tremendous error, a tremendous deception has taken place through all times by spiritualizing these, this tremendous statement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to take you to another case, the case of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:8-10.
Remember how Zacchaeus was very anxious to see Jesus and he was of short stature, so he went and climbed into a sycamore tree, verse 4, where he could see Jesus, verse 5.
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Now listen carefully and think carefully.
What was Zacchaeus?
Zacchaeus was a born son of Abraham there was no doubt about it. So he was a son of Abraham before he came to conversion, therefore, his conversion did not make him a son of Abraham. No, the fact that he was born a son of Abraham led to his conversion because there was something in his heart calling and seeking and hungering after God. That is a tremendous truth that one must realize. For Jesus said: “for the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”.
But did Jesus not say to the Syrophenician woman - (Matthew 15:21-24),
“I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel”. Did He not say to his disciples, “do not go to the heathen, enter the cities of the Samaritans not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel”. And when you go right through the Bible, you will see God has this relationship of Father to son to Israel.
Yes, even the parable of the Prodigal son, the very same. Even after the Prodigal son had left his father’s home and went and plunged himself into the grossest of sin and squandered his whole inheritance and was about to die of hunger, the father was yearningly looking out for him all the time. And when he saw that son’s appearance upon the horizon. Oh the father ran to meet him and embraced him and restored him without a word of reproach.
My brothers and sisters, God’s love is so deep that we cannot understand it. And Gods grace is beyond measure. Rejoice if you have a yearning in your heart for God. Know this, that it is not you who put it there, it was born into you because you are looking for your roots. Yes, may God grant that we shall see these things?
So, therefore, when we come to our text and when we read:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not”.
We are not called the sons of God, first and foremost, just because we have been born again. No, we have been born again because we were born the first time sons of God. We have become through Adams sin we have become cut-off from our life, which was in God. And Jesus Christ came and died upon the cross that He might become our life again. So that when we accept Him we become born again - - - -
- - - - And we truly become sons of God both physically and spiritually.
So my brothers and sisters, let us get off this rut, out of this rut into which we have been plunged. Our fathers losing the way and getting off the track, so long, long ago. And let us get back onto God’s way, which He has laid down for us in his word. So when we read next time from Deuteronomy 14:1-2 for instance, we are the children of the Lord God, we shall not cut ourselves, nor make any baldness between our eyes for the dead, for we are a holy people to the Lord our God. And the Lord has chosen us to be a peculiar people unto Himself above all the nations that are upon the earth.
Here are the children of the Lord. The word for children is “BEN” in the original Hebrew, it means children, and it means sons or produce, descendants of the Lord. My brothers and sisters don’t let the greatness and the rightness of this overwhelms you, accept it by faith, we are born children of God.
It is exactly what happened when Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I am the Son of God”. What? - You of Nazareth, you the son of Joseph the carpenter, and Mary the country girl! You telling us that you are the Son of God. That you are God, what blasphemy, let us stone Him, put Him to death because He’s destroying the whole fabric and structure of our faith. Yes, they had become misled to such an extent that they were far removed from God’s real purpose.